At SacredGroves we believe in being together and working with energy that enthrals everybody around. But for all the energy to get an initiation does it not need a special place? A place where no idea is left unheard, where everyone comes together and celebrates the spirit of sacred groves, these pondering questions soon became directive principles in mind. We wanted to create a place of origin to practice this as a way of work.
Consequently in 2013 came into reality the design of two concentric circles one inside the other called the Sacred Circle. It is like a focal point for SacredGroves’ daily activities. We begin our day by assembling here, everybody pick their tasks, ponder and find solutions for the challenges that the day ahead faces us with. After a brief fifteen minute session with everyone spoken and heard without discrimination the circle then becomes a place in the background witnessing masons, interns and volunteers toil for the site.The circle was builtwith waste sandstone tiles for flooring and mosaic tiles for artwork.
At breakfast and lunch again the scene transforms. The lull at the circle is filled with growling stomachs yearning for solar kitchen food. Often I sit back, relax and lend an ear to the conversations around me. The warmth in every group laughing, discussing, yelling is mesmerizing. This one hour affair is so full of colour in both the activities and the people that it’s good enough to energize us to work towards the next two hours again, again in the hard sun.
Tea breaks, breakfast, discussions and dreams to bring positive change in the world, all transform this space to be used in its own way. The warm sandstone flooring beckons people to sit on the floor, roll and even sleep on it. The Sacred Circle in the center is a mosaic art in the Auroville symbol with a depression in the center which holds water and flowers. Water depicts acceptance, flowers the grace and beauty of nature constructed with extreme love from the people. Blue and white at the center contrast the earth around. This place witnesses it all, from greeting new colleagues to birthdays and farewells.
The Circle is like an oasis. A mirage of heaven that everyone interprets in their own way which makes each of us walk towards when we are hungry, when we need a just a little rest, when we need to think and when we need to unwind. We believe that this space of learning, sharing and building ideas truly comes alive with ever growing energy witnessing the multiplicity of activities. The Circle is just the perfect example of a dream that transformed into reality and manifested a new way of living ecologically to all sacred-grovians.
THE DOME ABOVE SACRED CIRCLE:
The circle that serves us as the spot to get together to discuss the work would become unusable during rainy seasons. We decided to build a bamboo roof for the dome. We had an enthusiastic team of architects and students from Spain volunteering for a short time with a dome construction expert Raul. The team designed and completed the dome in a month’s time.
The design and construction of the dome:
1. The dome was decided to be made of split bamboo resting on ground at 6 points of a perfect hexagon.
2. Each of these 6 points were prepared to take the weight of the dome with steel reinforcement and rubber tires filled with earth-crete mix. A PVC pipe was inserted at the center of the earth-crete base to drain out the water to a pit. Three more PVC pipes were inserted into the earth-crete mix to act as anchors for the bamboo.
3. At first the 6 main members that run from one point to the opposite point were placed and tied with coconut rope at the intersection point.
4. Then 6 more bamboo members were bent from one point to an alternating point as shown below.
5. 6 more arches at each entrance were made and the skeleton was complete.
6. As braces multiple bamboo members running parallel to the main structural arches were laid on top of the dome.